• Preterite: I went
  • Present: I go
  • Future: I will go

Alternative formsEdit


Recorded since 1340, from Old French preterit (13th century), from Latin praeteritum (as in tempus praeteritum ‎(time past)), the past participle of praetereō ‎(I go by, go past), itself from praeter ‎(beyond, before, above, more than) (comparative of prae ‎(before)) + itum (the past participle of ‎(I go)).


  • IPA(key): /pɹɛtəɹət/, /pɹɛtəɹɪt/


preterite ‎(not comparable)

  1. (grammar, of a tense) showing an action at a determined moment in the past.
  2. Belonging wholly to the past; passed by.
    • Lowell
      Things and persons as thoroughly preterite as Romulus or Numa.



preterite ‎(plural preterites)

Broom icon.svg A user suggests that this entry be cleaned up, giving the reason: “Clearify the meaning. Does preterite refer to all past tenses or just to a special one (simple past, past simple)? Of course, the term might refer to both (depening on usage), but then there are two meanings.”.
Please see the discussion on Requests for cleanup(+) or the talk page for more information and remove this template after the problem has been dealt with.
  1. (grammar) The preterite tense, simple past tense: the grammatical tense that determines the specific initiation or termination of an action in the past.

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Read in another language